This week’s Hollywood buzz

Dueling Docs: Obama 2016 v. Seal Team Six

Obama 2016,” the documentary by Dinesh D’Souza based on his book, and released earlier this year is now out on DVD. This anti-Obama film is the second highest-grossing political documentary of all time. And now it’s being screened in churches causing some to question if that’s a violation of the IRS code which restricts churches from engaging in electioneering or supporting or denouncing Presidential candidates.

Meanwhile, Harvey Weinstein who owns The Weinstein Company with his brother and is known as a long-time supporter of the Democratic Party is releasing a pro-Obama documentary called “Seal Team Six“, about the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound. The film will air on the National Geographic Channel ahead of the Presidential election on November 4. Brian Stelter of The New York Times had a story this week about how the movie may have been re-cut to enhance Obama’s role  and to remove any anti-Romney scenes.

Football Dominates TV

Adage reports that advertising rates during football games have risen as rates for other shows—namely the once dominant American Idol— have fallen precipitously. For a few years now— certainly as more and more Americans are using DVRs— audiences have been time-shifting their TV shows. That is, not watching television in the old “appointment-viewing” way (Hey, it’s 7:00 pm let’s watch Jeopardy!). But people are less likely to time-shift sports. Specifically Football. And there are profits for those networks that air the games. According to Adage, NBC can charge as much as $545,142 for an ad spot during Sunday night football. Just last year Fox could charge something in that range for “American Idol,” but this year the rate has dropped by nearly $200,000. In the TV business people used to refer to Idol as ‘the Death Star’— no more.

Sony Pictures Looks for Partners

This week Sony sent a rumble through the town when it began announcing news that some of their big name movies may need to find other homes. As was reported by Kim Masters, host of KCRW’s The Business, in The Hollywood Reporter, a George Clooney movie called “Monuments Men” will now be co-financed with Fox. And Adam Sandler, who has long made his home at Sony, will move his movie, “Ridiculous 6,” to Paramount. Masters reports that these austerity measures are hard on Sony chief Amy Pascal, who is known for solid relationships with talent.

Meanwhile, “Zero Dark Thirty” the Kathryn Bigelow movie about the hunt for Osama Bin Laden which is being distributed by Sony will now have a slower release strategy than originally announced. It’s unclear if this is because of an awards strategy or if it has to do with Sony’s finances.

Don’t miss “The Business” for more!